OTTAWA, July 4, 2012 — A new national Economics and Environmental Policy Research Network, co-hosted by the University of Ottawa and the University of Calgary, is being launched with great excitement. This Network, core funded by Environment Canada, brings together over 70 leading researchers from across the country to study and develop innovative policies for protecting Canada’s environment while simultaneously building a stronger economic future.
The economy of the future is likely to reward companies (and countries) that are energy efficient, low polluting, and use scarce natural resources productively – in fact it is already moving in that direction. Canada’s challenge is to design environmental policies that will unleash the level of innovation and efficiency needed to prepare for this new economy. This Network seeks to provide advice on how to meet that challenge. Drawing on leading-edge international research and experience, the Network brings together Canada’s top scholars to advise on ‘next generation’ policy approaches for building a greener, stronger Canadian economy.
Environment Canada has committed $500,000 in support over 5 years to help establish this research Network. This initiative aims at enhancing Environment Canada’s capacity to integrate environmental and economic policy considerations and research into its regulatory functions.
The Network will be co-hosted by the University of Calgary and the University of Ottawa, who are both contributing significant resources to support it. The Network’s co-leaders are Scott Taylor, Canada Research Chair in International, Energy and Environmental Economics and Professor, Department of Economics, University of Calgary, and Stewart Elgie, Director, Institute of the Environment and Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa. The Steering Committee members are Vic Adamowicz (University of Alberta), Graeme Auld (Carleton University), Philippe Barla (Université Laval), Kathryn Harrison (University of British Columbia), Ken McKenzie (University of Calgary), and Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné (HEC Montréal). Sustainable Prosperity, a national green economy think tank and research-policy network, will be providing management and support for the new Network.
“Discussions over environmental policy are often more contentious than they need to be – yes there are trade-offs to be made but a clear understanding of the evidence linking regulation to productivity, to competitiveness, and to environmental outcomes is key to making good policy decisions. The network’s goal is to provide this information to policymakers,” explains Professor Scott Taylor.
“The idea that we need to choose between a healthy environment and strong economy is old thinking; the truth is we must have both, and we can,” says Professor Stewart Elgie. “With the right policies in place – ones that align our environmental and market incentives – Canada could be a global green economic leader within a generation, in all sectors.”
The Network mobilizes over 74 scholars, representing 12 disciplines, from 19 Canadian universities and research organizations. Also involved are 12 international scholars, including many of the leading researchers in their fields. The Network will focus on how to design environmental policies to improve competitiveness and innovation, and to change behaviours. It will build connections and capacity, foster greater dialogue between academics and government partners, and will generate innovative, policy-relevant research.
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